Seventy-six nursing graduates from Assiniboine Community College will move on to the next stage of their lives and start careers in healthcare.
Today’s graduation in Brandon marked the end of the two-year Practical Nursing program for 48 students who completed their studies in either Brandon or Melita.
On Monday in Winnipeg, another 28 other nursing students will formally graduate from the program. All three groups began their studies in January 2016.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the success of our nursing graduates and their families this September,” said Assiniboine president Mark Frison. “That’s seventy-six people who are ready to pursue careers as nurses, helping to meet the demand for skilled labour within Manitoba’s healthcare field.”
Alyssa Marr and Jodi White were selected as valedictorians to represent their graduating classes at the Brandon ceremony.
Alyssa Marr, who is originally from Redvers, Sask., enrolled in the program that was delivered in Melita as one of the college’s rural rotating nursing sites.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the nursing program and have grown so much as a person, as well as gained more knowledge than I even knew was possible,” said Marr. “Nursing is such a rewarding profession, and I know that being a nurse will truly fill my heart with so much joy and love each and every day.”
Marr plans to work in Brandon while her husband attends Assiniboine. Coincidently, Marr is graduating the same month her husband begins his studies in the college’s two-year Agribusiness program. The pair plan to put down roots in rural Manitoba after he graduates.
Like Marr, Jodi White, who graduated from the Practical Nursing program delivered in Brandon, also wants to work as a nurse in rural Manitoba.
“The Practical Nursing program provided me with more than an education,” said White. “I gained confidence, friendships, skills and insight that allowed me to follow my passion and become a nurse. I look forward to the new experiences and adventures that lie ahead for myself and my classmates.”
In addition to the permanent nursing programs at Assiniboine’s campuses in Brandon, Dauphin and Winnipeg, the college is currently delivering nursing programs in Peguis First Nation and Southport, Man.
The community of Russell, Man. will host the college’s next Practical Nursing rural rotating site with classes starting in January 2019.
Since 1975, more than 3,500 individuals have graduated from nursing programs offered by the college. In the past five years alone, Assiniboine has delivered its Practical Nursing program in nine communities across Manitoba including Peguis First Nation, Deloraine, and Pine Falls.
Graduate licensed practical nurses (LPNs) secure careers in hospitals, personal care homes, medical clinics, private agencies and the community. With some advanced preparation, some entrepreneurial LPNs are even choosing to start their own businesses.
The demand for Assiniboine nursing graduates is high; 100 per cent of graduates surveyed from the 2016-17 academic year said they were employed, making on average $54,121 a year.